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REPORT: NEWS CORP. DIVES INTO YAHOO FRAY

The Wall Street Journal owner may have interest in the Web icon after Microsoft's bid.

Yahoo Inc. is discussing a possible Internet partnership with media conglomerate News Corp., its latest effort to repel Microsoft Corp.'s takeover bid or pry a better offer from the unsolicited suitor, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday.

The specifics of the proposed joint venture haven't been worked out, according to the person, who didn't want to be identified because the talks are considered confidential.

Both the Wall Street Journal and a prominent blog, TechCrunch, reported that News Corp., which owns the Journal, is interested in folding its popular online social network, MySpace.com, and other Internet assets into Yahoo - an idea that first came up last year.

News Corp. and a private equity firm reportedly would buy significant stakes in Yahoo as part of a complex deal designed to boost the company's market value above Microsoft's initial bid of $44.6-billion, or $31 per share.

A Yahoo spokesman said the company continues to "carefully and thoroughly" evaluate alternatives that will enrich its long-term shareholders. News Corp. spokeswoman Teri Everett declined to comment.

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